My brother Ryan Cabrera, a third degree black belt and certified instructor has been at the IHRSA convention all week with his job and sent me this picture of him with Judo master and Olympic Gold medalist Mike Swain. My brother is really into grappling (like we all are), but went a step further and was a hot-shot high school wrestler too. He admits to being a little-bit star struck at having met Mike Swain.
IHRSA is the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association which is the Fitness Industry’s only global trade association. IHRSA represents nearly 9000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 74 countries.
Michael (“Mike”) Lee Swain (born December 21, 1960 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) is one of the most successful American judokas. He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1984.
Swain became the first American male to win the Judo World Championships when he took the gold medal in 1987. He competed in four Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1988, and a number of World Championships.
In addition to these well-known competitions, he participated in a number of tournaments that are less-known outside of the judo world, but very prestigious within it, such as the Kano Cup in 1986. Just in major international competitions, his record includes six gold medals, eleven silver medals, and nine bronze medals. As a competitor, Swain was known for his elegant classic Japanese style, having travelled to Japan as a young man to study. Later in his career, he coached the US men’s team in the 1996 Olympics. He is married to Chie Swain, who represented Brazil in the 1992 Olympics at 61 kg.
He is an alumnus of the San José State University judo program, training under Yosh Uchida. He is currently a coach for the Spartans, and handles much of the head coaching duties for the semi-retired Uchida. In 2005, Swain and the SJSU Judo Executive Committee established The Swain Scholarship, the first judo athletic scholarship at a major American university.
Swain is the owner of Swain Sports in Campbell, California.